Lindsey Graham Breaks Senate For Very Good Reason: So We Can Lock Up Children Forever
Lindsey Graham's bill to "reform" the asylum process -- by destroying it -- passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday after Graham had himself a nice little snit, accusing Democrats of such terrible dishonesty that he had to break about a million rules to get the vote -- for a bill that has no chance of ever going anywhere in the House, so you wonder why he made such a fuss. Why, Lindsey? Well, it will make him a hero to Donald Trump, that's why, because his terrible bill would get rid of "loopholes" in asylum law that actually sometimes result in people being granted asylum.
We won't go into all the back and forth in Graham's forcing the vote, because the Honored Traditions of the Senate were already tossed into a box labeled "Nostalgic Relics" following the nomination of Merrick Garland. Basically, Graham was pissed that a Judiciary Committee meeting last week was one Democrat short of a quorum, and he accused Democrats of deliberately walking out to prevent the bill from getting a vote.
"You are not going to take my job away from me," Graham said. "I take this very personally. I've tried my best to find a compromise."
Fact check: Graham argues that he is open to compromise, but also argues his bill, which would make the asylum process far more difficult, is the only way to solve the crisis on the border that Donald Trump constructed.
Graham also turned his ire on Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), pouting, "Senator Leahy, you've been here a long time. I would never have done this to you." Leahy then explained he had been attending a funeral, as partisan backstabbers will. Leahy also pointed out that some Republicans had missed the session as well. "I hope that they weren't at a funeral too." Graham offered his condolences, but added he'd heard the Democrats were going to stay away, and shame on them.
Graham then forced a vote to move the bill to the full Senate, ignoring Democrats who said he was tossing out the committee's rules. No matter, because the Democrats started it by being mean, said Graham. Leahy responded by literally ripping up the rules, because if the only goal is making Donald Trump happy, why not?
But Lindsey got his way, as a chairman can, taking a vote to suspend the rules and vote the bill out of committee -- along party lines -- before the August recess.
And what a terrific bill it is, as we discussed in June. It includes a number of elements on Donald Trump and Stephen Miller's asylum wish list, like a fee for asylum applications, since people fleeing for their lives usually have plenty of spare money. It would also only allow people to request asylum if they cross the border at a port of entry, or in refugee processing centers to be set up in Central America and Mexico. That way people could request asylum from the comfort of the home countries they want to flee for their lives. Finally, it would set new, higher standards for even passing an initial screening for asylum, allowing far quicker deportations, so people can hurry up and die already.
Gee, can't see why Democrats wouldn't be itching to jump on those common-sense curtailments of human rights and laws that have been in place for decades. They must all love MS-13.
Worse, Graham's bill would eliminate the protections for minors under the Flores agreement, which currently allows minors to be held no more than 20 days in detention facilities. Instead, kids and their parents could be held up to 100 days in detention, and Graham would mandate that all asylum claims be adjudicated within those 100 days (not sure how he'd magic away the current backlog in immigration courts, where asylum cases can take years.)
We'd never have to be outraged again by stories like yesterday's investigative report on the shitty outfit that lost its license to run a group home but then got a $4 million grant to open a baby jail: Graham would prevent states from imposing any licensing requirements on immigrant detention facilities. Even worse, the bill would make DHS solely responsible for setting the standards of care for migrants in detention -- and prohibit any judicial review of those standards, if that's even constitutional. And all deportation decisions would similarly be final, with no option for appeal.
Democrats on the Judiciary Committee mocked Graham for pushing so hard on a bill that will get nowhere in the House. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) issued a statement calling it the "Graham-Trump bill," and Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on Judiciary, said the bill wouldn't solve problems at the border, but would instead make matters worse by allowing children and families to be held even longer in crappy conditions (yes, we're paraphrasing), and by denying asylum to people who are suffering.
Feinstein Speaks Against Graham Asylum Bill www.youtube.com
But doesn't she understand? Repealing most of the rights of asylum seekers, especially the Flores decision, would make the delivery of cruelty so much more efficient.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.